Hundreds flee wildfires raging in U.S. southwest

June 11 2012COLORADOFirefighters battled wildfires that spread quickly in parched forests in Colorado and New Mexico, forcing hundreds of people from their homes and the evacuation of wolves from a sanctuary. The Colorado fire, burning in a mountainous area about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, grew to 22 square miles within about a day of being reported and has destroyed or damaged 18 structures. Strong winds meanwhile, grounded aircraft fighting a 40-square-mile fire near the mountain community of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. Crews were still working to build a fire line around the blaze, which started on Friday and has damaged or destroyed 36 structures. It was not immediately clear how many of the structures lost were homes. In Colorado, the fire sent up heavy smoke, obscuring the sun and creating an eerie, orange dusk in the middle of the day. The smell of smoke drifted into the Denver area and smoke from the fires spread as far away as parts of central Nebraska, western Kansas and Texas. The latest New Mexico fire is smaller than the Whitewater-Baldy fire – the largest in the state’s history – but more concerning to authorities because it started closer to homes, said Dan Ware, a spokesman for the New Mexico State Forestry Division. He said the number of Ruidoso evacuees was in the hundreds, but he did not have an exact figure. Elsewhere, firefighters were battling a wildfire that blackened six square miles in Wyoming’s Guernsey State Park and forced the evacuation of campers and visitors. Cooler weather was helping firefighters in their battle against two other wildfires in southern Utah. In Colorado, authorities sent nearly 1,800 evacuation notices to phone numbers. About 500 people had checked in at Red Cross shelters. Larimer County sheriff Justin Smith said. Authorities say it is the worst fire seen in Larimer County in about 25 years. It spread as fast as one and a half miles an hour on Saturday, skipping and jumping over some areas but burning intensely in trees in others. Flames were coming dangerously close to deputies who were telling some residents to evacuate, Sheriff Smith said. –Independent
This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Drought, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Environmental Threat, Extreme Weather Event, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Wildfires. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Hundreds flee wildfires raging in U.S. southwest

  1. Carpenter777 says:

    I live 20 miles from the fire in Colorado. As of this morning, fire is 40,000 acres. Zero % contained. Over 2,000 evacuation notifications made. New road closing every couple of hours.


  2. Irene C says:

    Southwest on fire and Pensacola FL (and the Gulf Coast) under water from too much rain. Once again I wish we could transfer some of this moisture to help out both areas.



  3. Cathie says:

    I live near Fort Collins. The fire was 20 acres Saturday morning. Within 3 hours it got over 2000 acres. Last night it was 20,000 acres. This morning it’s 36,000 acres. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s moving at a rate of a mile an hour and it’s headed down the mountains toward Fort Collins.


    • Irene C says:

      My prayers for you all everyone in the path of this fire. Stay safe.


    • Melissa says:

      Be safe, Cathie! I’m all the way in Castle Rock and the smoke is bad here, can’t imagine what it’s like up north! I know that we’re understaffed because of fires elsewhere, etc., but it seems like there isn’t enough being done today from the air. They need to take advantage of the calm weather and somewhat cooler temps!


  4. Granny Bear says:

    The following sections have been updated in the past 3 days.
    — FIRES (1 updated events, 1 new images) —

    The High Park Fire broke out west of Fort Collins, Colorado, in early June 2012, and spread rapidly.
    *** MODIS(Aqua) image from Jun 09, 2012 (Posted on Jun 11, 2012 1:05 PM)

    Natural Hazards is a service of NASA’s Earth Observatory.

    If you have any questions or comments, please contact us:


  5. isis2012 says:

    Another rapid ride begins…


  6. matt says:

    I am also near Fort Collins and work close enough to the fire I can watch it spread. I was moving closer to town all day.


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